Baby elephant from Kenya 'adopted' by children and staff at Ely nursery
PUBLISHED: 14:31 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:31 21 May 2018
A baby elephant called Mapia has been 'adopted' by children and staff at King's Ely Acremont Nursery.
Mapia, who is named after the place where he was found in Tsavo, Kenya, had to be rescued by helicopter after he became orphaned in the recent drought. He is now being cared for by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is a conservation partner of the Tsavo Conservation Group, and is making good progress.
The founders of the Tsavo Conservation Group are Ian and Tanya Saunders, whose two daughters attend King’s Ely Acremont Nursery. Ian and Tanya have ‘adopted’ Mapia on behalf of the nursery as a gift to the children and staff.
Tanya visited the children to talk to them about Mapia and to share some facts about elephants, including how many bottles of milk a baby elephant needs every day in order to grow.
Tanya said: “I grew up in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya, with elephants literally on my doorstep. Being surrounded by nature from such an early age has shaped the way I live my life and think about the world.
“My husband and I founded the Tsavo Conservation Group with the aim of helping to create areas where people and wildlife can co-exist in a mutually beneficial environment, because at the end of the day if the people who live alongside wildlife do not see any value in it, then wildlife has no chance of survival.
“It was a pleasure to be able to share some of my love for elephants and other animals with the Nursery children.”
Anna Ballanger, head of early years foundation stage at King’s Ely Acremont Nursery, said: “The children have been learning about different animals around the world this term, and are thrilled to be a part of helping to look after our own baby elephant.
“We will be following his progress each month with great interest, and look forward to receiving our monthly updates on how he is doing.”
King’s Ely’s principal, Sue Freestone, is co-chairman of the UK branch of the Tsavo Conservation Group. For more information about the charity, visit: www.tsavocon.org.
To find out more about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, go to: www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org